Migration By Smell

Gray catbird (photo by Shawn Collins)

I have not seen a gray catbird in Pittsburgh yet but I know they’re on their way. Next month they’ll arrive from their wintering grounds in the southern U.S., the Caribbean and Central America. How do they get here?

Migratory birds are born with an innate sense of direction and distance to their goal but must learn how to get there on their first trip south. After they’ve made the trip once, they create a mental map and can use the sun, stars, earth’s magnetic field and their sense of smell to return home.

Their sense of smell? Yes! Birds do have a sense of smell and they use it.

On Throw Back Thursday, learn how gray catbirds proved they navigate by smell in: Sniffing Their Way North.

(photo by Shawn Collins)

2 thoughts on “Migration By Smell

  1. Thanks, Kate for yesterday’s post. Beautiful photos of springtime. Nice of you to share with those sheltering due to the Virus. Your blog is one of the best things about starting a new day!? Keep up the good work!

  2. Dear Kate every winter I get catbirds that come to my back yard and stay until it is time for them to leave. They are so beautiful and I feed them every morning along with all the birds that come to my bird feeder. I know that they will be leaving soon but I always look forward to the end of September for them to come back for the winter. I like it when they talk to each other they are my favorite birds.

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